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A very special thank you from hurricane survivors

To just say ‘Thank You’ doesn’t seem enough …
Corydon will forever be in my heart and the heart of my family for all that has been done for us by the good people here. When we arrived from the Mississippi Coast after Hurricane Katrina, you took us in and were so kind to us. There are so many people I wish to thank, and I know I couldn’t remember every kind deed, word and prayer.
A very special thank you to: Stewart’s Furniture for the mattress sets (now in three different households that lost all their bedding), Lincoln Hills Christian Church for the gift cards, New Salisbury UMC for the gift card, and Pfrimmer’s Chapel UMC for their donations. Also I want to thank Judy Seipel and her family and friends for the meals, and Sandy McHattan for clothes donations. Julie Episcopo for the haircuts just to make us feel special! A very special thank you to the Hampton Inn who so generously let our family stay as needed (it was wonderful to be in a clean, air-conditioned space!).
When we returned ‘home’ two weeks after the storm, we started the task of cleaning up and out. The power in our neighborhood was on after two weeks and the water back the next day. Most all our furniture went to the side of the road for debris pickup. My two sons and a couple of my grandsons have taken up all the flooring and gutted the house, cutting the sheet rock out at least four feet since we had three feet of gulf water in our house. Our entire neighborhood has become gutted houses, and the streets are piled with furniture, cabinets, all appliances and belongings. Now is the waiting game between the insurance company, the state attorney general and FEMA.
Also when we returned home, we found conditions better than when we had left it. When we came up here the week after the storm, at home there was no gas, no ice, no power, no banks or stores open. If there was gas or ice, you had to wait in line a couple of hours at least. Back at home after 2-1/2 weeks, the National Guard had taken over the distribution of ice, water and food. They had a system and that system worked quite well! There were still lines but everything moved much quicker. There was still no power ‘ which meant no traffic lights, but the Guard and police from around the country were directing traffic. Slowly, but surely the conditions began to improve.
There were SO many wonderful people who rushed to the aid of the Mississippi Coast. They came from all over the country. They brought supplies, food and so many items we needed. One of the first groups was the International Carpenters Union from Texas. They were there within a week. They put a hand-painted ‘Supplies’ sign on the highway for anyone who came by. The physicians from a clinic in Huntsville, Ala., sent their nurses with medical supplies for anyone who needed a tetanus shot. Church groups from Alabama, Florida and Tennessee came with help to any and all. They brought everything from cleaning supplies to Band-Aids. Hardly a day went by without someone coming through the neighborhood with something. I was so surprised of the things we needed but would have never thought about. And these people had nowhere to stay but in local churches, campers or tents. The weather during this time was almost unbearable with the heat and humidity.
We saw a local news report on the volunteers from Indiana! A group from New Albany was interviewed. Indiana was one of the states that had sent the most workers and volunteers to the Gulf Coast!
Our quiet little town has become a bustle of activities as the Coast begins to finish the cleaning up, and we start to think about rebuilding. A lot of people have left the area (including my daughter and grandson who have relocated to Corydon), but a lot of people seeking construction jobs have moved in. Our school district of Ocean Springs gained 146 students but lost over 800! Also four teachers have relocated.
Thanks to each and all again and again. We are so thankful for Larry and April Miller’s (our son and daughter-in-law) many good friends here. They all gathered around us like we were their own family. May you all be blessed again and again.
Christine and Dan Garrett live in Ocean Springs, Miss.